Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
4.5
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  • Harry
    Bristol, United Kingdom49 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Perfect hiking experience in a stunning nature reserve
    Jonkershoek nature reserve is a beautiful place with plenty of hiking trails, wildlife, flora and fauna. We hiked as a large group to two waterfalls in the cliff-face. Perfect for escaping busy Cape Town.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 23 August 2023
  • Bernadette A
    Cape Town, South Africa590 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hiked to both waterfalls- drove to the start, it’s a fair walk!
    We hiked with friends and enjoyed both waterfalls. They’re quite a distance apart but worth the effort. The incline to the second waterfall is without shade so it’s probably the most difficult part of the trail. Going back is mostly downhill and much faster. I would suggest driving from the entrance to the parking and then starting the trail as it’s about 5km back to the gate once you have completed the trails. At that point we were tired, hot, dusty and ready to rest. Everything was just beautiful!
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 20 December 2023
  • vnishith
    Houston, Texas173 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beware of a few things!
    A few important things to note before you go! The trails are some distance from the entrance. You can drive your car and park at a couple of different locations to access trails. BUT beware. The road is narrow and unpaved with rocks and bumps. It is a one-way loop so once you enter you must continue. Parking spots are few, if taken, then you must drive on. There is no shade so be prepared and take water with you. As for trails, they are very narrow and rocky. Tracking poles may be advisable along with good hiking shoes. Constantly looking down to avoid rocks distracts from enjoying the views, which are great.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 30 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Crazyredpepper
Plattekloof, South Africa720 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2020 • Family
We love getting out in nature. Great family bonding time. First time I have ever come to this nature reserve and I loved it. In spring and summer come really early, it can get really hot. Bring the swimming costume the waterfalls are so inviting after hiking. Try to park at the start of your hiking trail. It is quite a distance from the entrance to the start of the trails. I saw quite a few families with smaller children turn back before they even started the hike.
Written 23 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steven D
Johannesburg, South Africa67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Couples
My girlfriend, her brother and his fiancé went on a hike in the Reserve on Christmas Day. Although the Reserve was formally closed and the ablution facilities were shut, visitors were still able to walk from the gate into the Reserve. There are many brilliant hiking and mountain biking trails within the Reserve, ranging from novice to advanced levels.

The trail we chose took us up towards the fire lookout point and towards two immensely beautiful and unspoiled waterfalls. The water from both falls is drinkable. The natural splendour of the Reserve is enough to see me returning there the next time I am in the area.
Written 6 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kapoorkush
Regina, Canada18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
I love hiking and have hiked so many trails so far, but this one is just something else. While hiking it seems like as if you are walking in a paradise. Start hiking early morning and enjoy the perfect sunrise. If you love photography by no chance miss this one to test your skills with your cameras. Skills+hiking+good stamina will take you all the way to the waterfalls on the top. These waterfalls are best place for meditation/Yoga. Just kidding but seriously spare some moment if you are in Cape Town or plannig to visit anytime soon!! Just go and hike this one!!!!
Written 26 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bernadette A
Cape Town, South Africa590 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
We hiked with friends and enjoyed both waterfalls. They’re quite a distance apart but worth the effort. The incline to the second waterfall is without shade so it’s probably the most difficult part of the trail. Going back is mostly downhill and much faster.
I would suggest driving from the entrance to the parking and then starting the trail as it’s about 5km back to the gate once you have completed the trails. At that point we were tired, hot, dusty and ready to rest.
Everything was just beautiful!
Written 20 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Harry
Bristol, UK49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Friends
Jonkershoek nature reserve is a beautiful place with plenty of hiking trails, wildlife, flora and fauna. We hiked as a large group to two waterfalls in the cliff-face. Perfect for escaping busy Cape Town.
Written 23 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vnishith
Houston, TX173 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
A few important things to note before you go! The trails are some distance from the entrance. You can drive your car and park at a couple of different locations to access trails. BUT beware. The road is narrow and unpaved with rocks and bumps. It is a one-way loop so once you enter you must continue. Parking spots are few, if taken, then you must drive on. There is no shade so be prepared and take water with you.

As for trails, they are very narrow and rocky. Tracking poles may be advisable along with good hiking shoes. Constantly looking down to avoid rocks distracts from enjoying the views, which are great.
Written 30 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LPJM1981
London, UK586 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
The area is huge so be prepared for that. For me the signage on tbe trails could be better. Perhaps its been closed during Covid so things will be replaced but the map given to us wasnt much help.

Views are incredible, the waterfalls are quite far and the day we went were closed which was a shame.

As we left we saw a troop of baboons from out taxi and they apparently wander the reserve
Written 10 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MariusVStraaten
Cape Town238 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2013 • Friends
Nine kilometers from Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, South Africa is the amazing Jonkershoek Nature reserve. The Jonkershoek mountains creates a landscape of high peaks and lovely valleys.Some of the routes are next to the Eerste river and one can deviate to three lovely waterfalls along the way.
At the entrance to the reserve is the Chaplins coffee shop, serving light lunches. The cheese cake is highly recommended. There is a entrance fee payable at the boom gate of R30 for hikers and R20 for mountain bikers. Wild Card users get in for free. The gate person was not very helpful and we had to extract information with many questions.
There is a 10km circular gravel track starting at the boom gate from where one is allowed to drive,walk or mountain bike. It is really convenient as one can drive the 5 km to the beginning of the first waterfall walk. There are parking areas at the start of the different routes along the circular road. About 25 minutes along the first waterfall route there is a turn to the right, which can be easily missed. Look out for the overhang rock formation against the mountain as a clue to take the right path to the first waterfall. Great place for a picnic and a rest in the cool shadows of the waterfall. From here one can continue on wards to the second waterfall. The path is clear and varies between rocky and sandy areas. Most of the route is near water, so it is great to take a dip now and then, especially in summer. Bring something to swim in or go naked.
Hiking boots are recommended, although many people walk in trainers or barefoot. Back at the boom gate, Chaplin's Coffee shop beckons with light lunches and great cakes.
Written 20 June 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cathy D
Cape Town14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Friends
Beautiful hike up into the jonkershoek.. Entrance fee is R30.00 to pay at the gate then drive along circular drive to entrance to the hike.Left turn to first waterfall then on to second where you can walk up the river to the second waterfall for a refreshing dip. Beautiful, easy 3hour return hike . A more challenging 6 hour hike is the panorama. Need to be prepared for steep ascent and descent.One of the most exquisite mountain reserve in the western cape.
Written 29 February 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

g m
Bristol, UK187 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
The walk is great but some caveats:

1. BEWARE THE GRAVEL ROAD. The "gravel road" is no such thing! It's more like an off-road track for 4x4s with big rocks and potholes the size of Wales ready to scrape the underside of your tiny city rental car! Be aware, although it's only 10km round trip, allow for 20 minutes each way (40 mins total). This is something the people on the gate fail to mention (see below). Oh, and you have to avoid mountain bikers too.

2. BEWARE THE USELESS PEOPLE ON THE GATE. The people at the gate (on the occasion we went) were particularly unhelpful. They took our money and at no point offered us a map. Maps are available (and free!) just make sure you ask for one as it will not be volunteered to you! N.B. the map is not actually that useful anyway (see below)

3. BEWARE THE USELESS MAP. For example there is a "short detour" up to Guardian Peak and it's not clear whether this is included in the 6hr walk time (I'm pretty sure it's not as it looks like it would add at least 10km - not exactly a short detour on a 17km walk!)

4. GET THERE EARLY. The park gates close at 6.00pm. The 17km panorama walk is supposed to take 6 hours. We got to the gate well before 12.00 but due to their uselessness and the ridiculous "scenic" drive we didn't get to the start of the walk until 12.15pm. Allowing 20 minutes for the drive out meant we only had 5hrs20 for the walk. We set off at a reasonable pace and stopped briefly for snack breaks/sun cream application/way-finding every now and again (probably a total of 15-20 minutes and completed the walk in 4hrs30 so I don't know what we were worried about!

5. BE SENSIBLE. Most of the walk is exposed - take suncream/hat etc. I believe the same is true for the Swartboskloof trail too. Sensible walking boots etc etc advised.

6. BEWARE LEOPARDS. There are cape leopards. Sadly we didn't see any but keep your eyes peeled!

7. BEWARE THE BLISTER BUSH. We came across a few on the walk.

8. BEWARE THE LACK OF SIGNAGE. At several points you will come to unsignposted junctions. Good luck guessing which way to go! As stated, the map is pretty unhelpful. Try openstreetmap instead and hope you have GPS signal...

9. BEWARE THE (LACK OF) PATH. The first half of the walk is uphill, the second half downhill. The downhill section quickly descends (literally) into a rockfall. In several places it is hard to tell where the path is. Many of the rocks are loose and both of us slipped over on separate occasions. This is no doubt partly down to taking the walk too quickly due to the stress of not knowing how far around we were. It's a bit of a knee-killer.

10. IN SUMMARY. I would not recommend this walk for inexperienced walkers. We are by no means full on walkers (for example we own walking boots but not walking poles) You need to be reasonably fit.

Like I say, the walk itself is great with amazing views but I thought I'd share some information I would have wished to have had in advance.
Written 18 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Jonkershoek Nature Reserve - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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